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New America Foundation

National Security Studies Program Policy Paper

The FBI’s Secret War Against the ‘Patriot’ Movement,
and How Infiltration Tactics Relate to Radicalizing Influences
J.M. Berger, May 2012
Since September 11, 2001, more than 300 U.S. residents
Table of Contents
have been prosecuted for crimes related to homegrown
Introduction: The Infiltration Dilemma…….........1
terrorism. About half were targeted by law enforcement
On the Road…………………………..........................................5
using infiltration techniques – confidential informants,
Civilian Materiel Assistance…………………………….………6
undercover operations, or, in some cases, both. 1
The Texas Light Infantry………………………………….…......7
Paranoid Times……………………………………………..…….8
The use of infiltration has grown increasingly controversial,
particularly within the American Muslim community,
Stinger Missiles………………………………………………….11
where many view these techniques as bordering on
World Tour of Extremism………………………………….12
entrapment (regardless of the legal definition). In the worst
Ruby Ridge…………………………………………………….……13
light, informants and undercover officers are seen as agents
The Convention………………………………………………….14
provocateurs – government employees who are instructed
From Stingers to Night Vision……………..………….15
to provoke people into illegal acts so that they can be
PATCON Ends……………………………………………………18
Oklahoma City Begins……………………………..……….19
A 2011 Pew survey found that 52 percent of all American
Infiltration and Patriot Rhetoric…….……………….21
Muslims feel anti-terrorism policies in the United States
single out Muslims for surveillance and monitoring. That
Sources, Disclaimers, and Acknowledgments…..........24
number jumped to 71 percent among native-born American
Muslims. Forty-four percent of the general public agreed
Introduction: The Infiltration Dilemma with the assessment.2
To coordinate a definite cause to a definite effect
has sense only when both can be observed without That survey was taken before a series of investigative
introducing a foreign element disturbing their reports by the Associated Press on the New York Police
interrelation. Department’s anti-terrorism unit confirmed some of the
– Werner Heisenberg community’s worst fears. The AP series, starting in August
He who fights with monsters should be careful lest 2011, revealed that the NYPD has engaged in widespread
he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze surveillance of Muslim communities in New York, often
long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into without evidence of illegal activity and often without
thee. producing actionable results.3
– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
But questions about when and how to use infiltration prosecution, descriptions of their activities are carefully
techniques are not new and are not limited to Muslim controlled by prosecutors and carefully spun by defense
communities in the post-9/11 era. Whether it’s an attorneys, resulting in a distorted picture. Members of a
undercover agent buying supplies for an al Qaeda targeted community may be reluctant to frankly discuss
sympathizer,4 an FBI handler getting inappropriately close their attitudes toward these activities for fear of being
to a mob informant, or informants collecting evidence targeted themselves. And finally, the secondary effects of
even as hackers compromise a private company’s data, infiltration can play out over years or even decades,
infiltration inherently involves unique risks along with its rendering any short-term picture incomplete.
potential rewards.
Legacy cases, while still subject to many of the same
Informants and undercover agents are essential tools for pressures, offer an improved window on the details of
law enforcement officials, whether they are investigating specific infiltrations and on the medium- and long-term
terrorism, organized crime, corporate wrongdoing, effects on targeted communities. In the case of closed
computer hacking, or fraud. Infiltration methods have a investigations, it is also possible to make a better evaluation
proven track record as far as their legality and their of overt successes, such as arrests, prosecutions, and the
investigative merits in the vast majority of cases. But prevention of violence and other planned activities.
methods that fall within legal bounds are not necessarily
without negative consequences. Violent extremism presents From 1991 to 1993, the FBI conducted an ambitious
a particularly devilish problem set in this respect. infiltration program code-named PATCON, short for
Patriot Conspiracy. “Patriot” is an umbrella label for a
Law enforcement has an obvious stake in trying to loosely defined movement of antigovernment, racist, anti-
determine whether nonviolent people who espouse Semitic, and/or Christian extremists. The PATCON
extremist beliefs or engage in violent rhetoric might program is documented in extraordinary detail in
become violent. Now more than ever, the government is thousands of pages of FBI records obtained through the
focused on preventing potential extremists from becoming Freedom of Information Act. Interviews with people
violent. But infiltration techniques can have a dramatic involved on both sides of the infiltration supplement this
effect on how targeted communities view efforts to counter information.
and prevent violent extremism by raising questions about
the government’s intent and integrity. Aggressive PATCON consisted primarily of three FBI undercover
infiltrations can even reinforce extremist narratives that agents posing as members of a fictional extremist group
claim the government targets communities because of their called the Veterans Aryan Movement. Three Patriot groups
fundamental identities rather than in pursuit of illegal were the primary targets of PATCON – Civilian Materiel
activities. The ripple effects of perceived overreach can also Assistance, the Texas Light Infantry, and the American
make it more difficult for otherwise friendly community Pistol and Rifle Association. PATCON agents roved the
partners to encourage cooperation with law enforcement. country for more than two years collecting intelligence on
these and other Patriot organizations and on dozens of
Studying the secondary effects of infiltration in current individuals, investigating leads on plots from the planned
situations verges on the impossible for several reasons. The murder of federal agents to armed raids on nuclear power
current activities of undercover agents and informants are plants to a new American Revolution.
closely guarded secrets, for obvious reasons. When
infiltrators are exposed in the course of an arrest and

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Despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and highlights several critical issues surrounding the use of
logging uncounted man-hours, PATCON and related infiltration.
investigations produced negligible results in terms of
serious criminal convictions. Instead, PATCON became an Reinforcing grievances
intelligence tool, predicated on a series of suspected crimes, As with many other radical movements, Patriot
most of which were discussed but never committed. ideology revolves around a belief that the U.S.
government is fundamentally at war with its values
Because it was not directly tied to a prosecution, the (which vary by group but often include gun rights,
existence of PATCON was not formally disclosed until white nationalism, anti-gay sentiments, and/or
2007, when references to the program appeared in abortion prohibition). In interviews for this report
documents released through Freedom of Information Act and in ideological tracts, Patriots frequently
requests about the targeted groups. But the Patriot pointed to the use of infiltrators, often
movement was keenly aware it had been infiltrated. Several characterized as agents provocateurs, as a key
people involved with targeted groups asserted in interviews grievance and operational concern. An example
after the fact that they were aware that at least one can be found in Patriot ideologue Louis Beam’s
undercover agent involved with PATCON was a “fed.” infamous tract on “Leaderless Resistance,” a
Whether or not that’s true, the movement was actively strategy that is predicated on the threat of
worried about infiltration, and justifiably so. One group infiltration.9 The idea of a war footing is strongly
targeted by PATCON was described by the FBI as reinforced by violent confrontations such as Ruby
“extremely sensitive to investigative pressure.” 7 Another Ridge (which was sparked by a conflict over
group deliberately discussed “exotic” threats in order “to infiltration) and Waco (which had specific
provoke the FBI into overreacting and to surface relevance to some of the PATCON-targeted
informants.”8 groups).

The paranoia that resulted from the awareness of Intelligence vs. prosecution
infiltration led to some members being expelled or Much has been written about the conflict between
ostracized on the often-incorrect suspicion that they were the roles of the FBI as an intelligence-gathering
informants. Patriot gatherings were at times disrupted and operation and as a criminal investigation unit. FBI
even canceled over concerns about infiltration by federal rules stipulate that full-field investigations such as
investigators. One former informant interviewed for this PATCON must be predicated on specific suspected
report said he believed the FBI was just fine with that crimes, a requirement heightened in investigations
outcome but added that such mind games often reinforced of domestic extremism where First Amendment
the radical beliefs of those being monitored. issues come into play.10

“I think they played a lot of people against each other,” he In dealing with headquarters, PATCON’s
said. “The guys hated them more and more for it. They supervisors had to continually justify the operation
thought Big Brother was moving in on them.” by finding intelligence related to crimes past,
present, or future. By pointing to specific and
In addition to the murky complexities of the observer effect theoretically prosecutable crimes, PATCON’s
– in which the act of observing something causes changes supervisors were also able to secure dramatically
in the subject of observation – the PATCON investigation improved funding for the operation. 11

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groups with strong political or religious
Throughout PATCON’s history, the nominal components.
justification for the operation shifted several times,
and the investigation strayed far from its stated Interagency conflict
pretexts, continually expanding to encompass One of the investigations carried out by PATCON
additional targets of opportunity. There was a involved the theft of night-vision goggles from Fort
vested interest in continuing a successful Hood in Texas, which was also the subject of an
undercover operation once begun. FBI field offices Army criminal investigation. To preserve the
and programs are evaluated on a statistical basis. undercover operation, the FBI delayed sharing
The use of extraordinary investigative techniques information with the Army’s team, which
such as wiretaps and undercover operations is subsequently launched its own undercover
factored in as a measure of good work. operation against some of the same targets.
PATCON’s direct contribution to the ultimate
Value of intelligence gathered prosecution was negligible, but the episode
It’s unclear what value the collected intelligence illustrates the challenges of coordinating
held in the final analysis. The only PATCON undercover operations when bureaucratic
targets ever prosecuted were already under jurisdiction is not clear.
investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigative
Division, and none of the specific terrorist plots Civil liberties
alleged in the FBI’s records ever came to fruition. Much of the focus of PATCON was on speech,
Agents involved with PATCON and related whether public or private. The undercover agents
investigations said that the collection of and informants attended conventions and
intelligence on Patriot leaders had value in itself gatherings, reporting on who participated and what
and helped elevate a top-echelon informant within was said. They also reported private conversations
the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, but about alleged terrorist plots that typically went
conceded that many of the investigation’s targets nowhere.
turned out to be all talk.14
“You have talkers and doers out there, and 99
Meanwhile, Timothy McVeigh literally drove percent of the people are talkers,” said a former
through the middle of PATCON’s investigative Patriot informant. Most of the targets of PATCON
landscape without attracting notice. McVeigh – even those engaged in frighteningly violent
interacted with members and associates of the rhetoric – never transitioned from talk to action.
targeted groups, but there is no evidence that the The FBI’s records of the program suggest that it
intelligence collected by PATCON ever came into was not always clear when the investigative
play during the investigation of the 1995 Oklahoma imperative should have given way to First
City federal building bombing. Amendment concerns. In at least once instance, a
carefully worded speech was described incorrectly
While there is obvious value in collecting by a PATCON undercover agent as containing an
information about extremist activity, it must be explicit call to violence. It is unclear whether the
weighed against fiscal and social costs incurred, as speech was misheard or misconstrued.
well as the constitutional implications of targeting

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Ultimately, however, PATCON was based on threat reports
that clearly merited scrutiny. In the case study that follows Born into a family that broke in divorce when he was 10,
– which relies heavily on the FBI’s perspective – it is easy to McVeigh struggled to find his place growing up in
see how each individual lead would prompt investigation. Lockport, an outer suburb of Buffalo. As a teenager, he was
Most of the threats examined by PATCON were aspirational drawn to guns and survivalism, tinged with an incipient
at best, but how could FBI agents know that without racism he tried to deny.15 McVeigh joined the Army in 1988
investigating? The narrative below illustrates this dilemma. and served through the Persian Gulf War in 1991. He was
This report describes PATCON in detail from its origins an expert marksman, but had difficulty dealing with black
through its conclusion and profiles the three groups soldiers in his unit. He applied to join the Special Forces
targeted in the investigation. The report examines Timothy but was rejected after he failed to meet the rigorous
McVeigh’s contacts with the Patriot movement, including physical requirements. Some months later, he left the
several people linked to the groups targeted by PATCON. It Army and moved home to Lockport, immersing himself
concludes with a look at how infiltration broadly influences ever deeper in the world of “Patriot” extremism. 16
Patriot thought and with recommendations for further
study. The Patriot movement consisted of small, localized
organizations that defined themselves under a loosely
The story of PATCON highlights issues that are relevant to unified banner despite wildly differing ideologies. For
the challenges of today, particularly regarding the New York instance, some justified white racism using distorted
Police Department’s wide-ranging intelligence collection Christian teachings, while others embraced Odinism, a
targeting Muslim communities. warped version of Norse mythology. Others focused on
elaborate constitutional fantasies.
There are fundamental differences between targeting the
radical fringe Patriot movement and targeting the Evidence of McVeigh’s early attraction to extremism can be
mainstream Muslim community. Targeting all Muslims for found in the book that he tried to share with almost
infiltration is akin to targeting all white Americans in order everyone he met, The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel by
to gain intelligence on white supremacists. The social infamous white nationalist William Pierce. McVeigh first
consequences of fomenting paranoia and mistrust of encountered the book in 1988, around the time he enlisted
government in overwhelmingly law-abiding communities in the Army. He kept it with him throughout his service –
are different from those that stem from infiltrating a and kept sharing it with others – despite reprimands from
movement that fundamentally presumes government his superiors. By the time he left Buffalo, McVeigh was
malfeasance. This report is intended as a first step to selling the book at gun shows.17
broaden the national policy discussion about infiltration
techniques and their effects on targeted communities. Set in the near future, The Turner Diaries describes a white
insurrection against the United States government,
On the Road culminating in a global racial holocaust. Although McVeigh
As Timothy McVeigh drove away from Buffalo at the start would later tell biographers he was attracted mainly to the
of 1993, the trappings of an ordinary life receded in the book’s antigovernment message, it is extraordinarily
rearview mirror, abandoned like the region’s steel mills. unlikely that The Turner Diaries could appeal to anyone
There would be no regular jobs, no daily commute, no fixed who is not a hardened racist. Dripping with racial animus,
address, no wife and family. Whatever normality the 24- The Turner Diaries does not aim to convince readers of the
year-old had known in his life was behind him. virtues of white supremacy. Rather, it assumes bigotry on

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the part of readers and explicitly tries to move them from
passive agreement to violent extremism.18 Civilian Materiel Assistance
McVeigh’s first stop was in Plantation, Florida, just west of
Aside from its ideological contribution to the literature of Fort Lauderdale, where his sister Patricia lived with her
white supremacy, The Turner Diaries introduced the family. He arrived in February 1993 and soon set up shop at
concept of a secret cabal promoting a white-only agenda, a gun show at the Fort Lauderdale armory.19
known simply as The Order. The fictional Order is vaguely
described, except for its initiation ritual and its role as the McVeigh had begun regularly attending shows as a buyer
ideological and strategic leadership of the insurrection. But before he left the Army in 1991. In this new phase of his
this skeletal outline was enough to inspire real-world life, he would become a seller. Dressed in his Desert Storm
imitators who were engaged in a covert war with the federal fatigues and polished boots, he offered shirts, canteens,
government. duffels, sleeping bags, and copies of The Turner Diaries.
McVeigh drew the notice of another seller at the show, a
When McVeigh left home, he was heading toward the front man named Roger Moore, who bought a few items from
line of that war and an intersection with an incarnate the Gulf War veteran and struck up a conversation. 20
version of the hateful fantasy that had so captured his
imagination. Colorful was too pale a word to describe Moore. The owner
of a mail-order ammunition company known as “The
The real-world Order, like its fictional counterpart, was Candy Store,” Moore traveled to gun shows around the
locked in battle with the U.S. government, a conflict that country using his own name and a number of aliases – Bob
would soon explode in fiery cataclysm at a rural compound Miller, Col. Bob Anderson, “Bob from Arkansas,” and
outside of Waco, Texas. One of the clearest examples of the simply “Arkansas Bob.” Moore had a girlfriend, Karen
power of the idea behind The Order was a white Anderson, who lived on a ranch he owned in Arkansas and
supremacist group known as the Veterans Aryan sometimes attended shows with him. He also had a wife,
Movement, a group of former soldiers based in Texas. Carol, living in Florida, whom he sometimes introduced as
Known in the movement to raise money through armored his sister.21
car robberies and bank heists, the militia invested its ample
war chest in the purchase of arms and equipment for the Moore’s professional life was as curious as his personal life.
coming revolution and traveled the country to consult and He described himself as a self-made millionaire who had
coordinate with other groups that shared the same agenda. enough money to retire, but Moore found ways to keep
busy. The Candy Store gave him an excuse to travel around
But the Veterans Aryan Movement had a secret, one it the country and hang out at gun shows. It also facilitated
successfully concealed from even its closest allies. The contact with the Patriot movement.
organization was an invention of the FBI, and every
member of the group was an undercover FBI agent. Under his alias of Bob Miller, Moore had been involved for
years with a Patriot organization called Civilian Materiel
The operation’s code name was PATCON, short for Patriot Assistance (CMA), which organized volunteer efforts
Conspiracy, and it would soon reach across the country in against communism during the 1980s. 22 A former Marine
an expansive search for information on antigovernment named Thomas Posey had created the anti-communist
and racist organizations that the FBI believed were seeking militia. Starting in September 1983, Posey began shuttling
to join forces to overthrow the government. shipments of clothing and food from Alabama to Central

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America to assist the Contras in their insurgent struggle At the 1990 convention, CMA cadres met leaders of a
against the leftist regime in Nicaragua. Some former militia group known as the Texas Light Infantry, and the
members of the organization said the aid was primarily two groups would soon join forces to create an alliance that
humanitarian. Others insisted there was more to the would reach across the country – and expose itself to FBI
story.24 infiltration.31

An aide to Oliver North, a Marine lieutenant colonel on the The Texas Light Infantry
National Security Council staff, offered the CMA some The Texas Light Infantry (TLI) formed during the 1980s
direction, and the group had contact with others in the U.S. with the stated goal of serving as a volunteer force during
government, a series of rumored connections to military emergencies. It maintained “battalions” in different parts of
intelligence and CIA officials that has never become clear. 25 the state, including Houston and Austin. Members took
A civil lawsuit over the group’s alleged illegal activities part in exercises roughly akin to infantry training, with
ended with a $1 million judgment in favor of CMA and occasional ventures into more exotic activities such as
other defendants for attorney fees and costs, 26 but parachute jumping.32
congressional pressure and the glare of publicity forced an
end to the covert pipeline to the Contras. Around 1990, some TLI members began branching out
into “paramilitary-survivalist” activities, according to FBI
CMA’s members had other interests that kept them in documents, crafting ties with the Aryan Nations and
touch. Posey proposed forming a political party “so pro- “persons throughout the U.S. involved in the white
American and patriotic that it’s going to be hard for anyone supremacy movement.”33
to vote against us.” The idea went nowhere. 27 Later, CMA
members began “arresting” suspected illegal immigrants Former members and associates disputed this claim as it
on the Arizona-Mexico border, but law enforcement quickly applied to the official organization. “The leaders of the TLI
prohibited such activities.28 were extremely concerned about the political image and
absolutely forbade any political or racial rhetoric at TLI
After the Iran-Contra program was exposed to the public functions,” said Dave Hollaway, a member of the group
and closed down amid a Congressional investigation, Posey from the 1980s through 1991.34
reconfigured the CMA as a “survivalist-type group” opposed
to the U.S. government and aimed to make friends with a “There may have been people with uncharitable attitudes
constellation of white supremacist and survivalist towards other races, but expressing such sentiments was
organizations across the country.29 something actively discouraged in the TLI,” said a second
former TLI member who asked not to be named. 35 The TLI
This extremist reincarnation of CMA boasted approximately had at least one black member and several Latino members,
700 active members, with new blood regularly recruited at according to multiple sources.36
an annual convention hosted by Soldier of Fortune
magazine in Las Vegas. Roger Moore attended the But several members of the group were embroiled in racial
convention regularly, renting a table to sell ammunition politics in one way or another. When Hollaway left TLI, he
and spending most of his time with Posey and other CMA moved to North Carolina and began working for the
members.30 CAUSE Foundation,37 which made its name providing legal
assistance in racially charged cases (often, but not always,

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on behalf of whites). Another prominent TLI member had Radical rhetoric and racial views were not sufficient reason
family ties to the Aryan Nations. to open a formal FBI investigation. But more aggressive
The FBI’s interest in specific TLI members was primarily steps were taken when, according to an informant, some
motivated by their association with Louis Beam, an within the TLI began discussing specific threats to kill two
infamous radical ideologue living in Austin, and by reports FBI agents in revenge for an earlier arrest, details of which
that some members of the group were referring to it are redacted from FBI documents. The Bureau conducted
internally as “The Order.” surreptitious searches, hauled TLI members in for
interviews, deployed undercover agents, and at one point
The Order, first described in The Turner Diaries, had had four informants inside the group at the same time. The
emerged into the real world, after a fashion, during the incoming intelligence only amplified the FBI’s concerns.44
early 1980s. Robert Jay Mathews, a right-wing extremist
who began as a strident anti-communist and went on into The FBI believed members of the TLI were stockpiling
organized racism, gathered at least a dozen men from explosives for use against the government, such as a
around the country to take on the fictional organization’s proposed mortar attack on an FBI office. 45 The organization
mission.40 was alleged to have at least one local law enforcement
officer in its pocket. Skinheads and racist extremists from
In The Turner Diaries, extremists directed by The Order are around Texas joined TLI members in the Austin area for
forced to commit petty crimes in order to fund their paramilitary training on a regular basis, informants
insurrection. Mathews and his followers took on the name asserted.46 In June 1990, the FBI searched the grounds of a
and followed the plot point, carrying out two bank robberies TLI training camp near Austin and found the remains of
and three armored car robberies, the proceeds of which two sophisticated pipe bombs. In early 1991, the group
were intended to fund a racist revolution to overthrow the became aware of the FBI’s interest in the camp and tore up
U.S. government. At least two people were murdered by the stakes, relocating to a site about two hours away. 47
The TLI even sent an operative to the FBI’s Austin office on
In late 1984, federal agents shut down The Order, killing a fishing expedition, posing as a walk-in informant to try to
Mathews in the course of trying to arrest him. Several find out what the FBI already knew about the group. The
members were prosecuted and convicted under federal effort failed, but TLI’s more militant members continued to
racketeering laws. Others were arrested in 1987 and tried probe for infiltrators. Their concern was justified. 48
under rarely used sedition laws; the case collapsed,
resulting in the acquittal of all defendants. 42 Paranoid Times
From its genesis at the Soldier of Fortune convention in
Among those acquitted in the sedition trial was Beam, an 1990, the proposed alliance between CMA and TLI’s
influential racist prominent in the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan extremist clique was dogged by suspected (and actual)
Nations. After the trial, Beam returned to his native Texas, government infiltration. Concerns came to a head in
where he published a newsletter mockingly titled The November 1991, when CMA hosted a convention in Posey’s
Seditionist, crafting ties with the Aryan Nations in Idaho home town of Decatur, Alabama, inviting representatives
and spending time with friends in the TLI, although he was from a number of different Patriot groups. Members of the
not an official member.43 Beam did not respond to an e- Texas Light Infantry were there, along with representatives
mail requesting an interview. of the American Pistol and Rifle Association, an
organization based in Tennessee.49

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CMA and the TLI (or at least its more extreme members) later described the scene as “pandemonium” in a report
had already joined forces. “Persons holding ‘rank’ in the back to the Bureau and said many attendees left over
[TLI] have equivalent rank in the CMA,” an FBI concerns about infiltration.
memorandum noted. (TLI members and associates
interviewed for this report denied knowledge of any alliance “The convention may be over at this point,” one informant
with CMA.) reported.56 It might have been, but the FBI’s interest in the
proposed alliance was only beginning.
The primary item on the convention’s agenda was
extending Posey’s agenda to create a nationwide coalition PATCON
strong enough to stand up to the full might of the federal Initial information on the Texas Light Infantry came from a
government but flexible enough to include often wildly longtime FBI informant named Vince Reed. A Vietnam vet
divergent ideologies. whose injuries frustrated his desire to work as a law
enforcement officer, Reed worked instead for the FBI as a
According to FBI records, the strategy called for source, informing on the Hells Angels. He relocated to
“interlocking anti-government groups so that the Texas, where he began providing agents with information
movement could be ready to fight the government when the on the associates of Louis Beam, whose ties to the Aryan
government attempts to take over the rights of the citizens,” Nations were a top priority for Texas FBI agents.57
similar to the scenario described in The Turner Diaries.53
Interlocking would connect extremist groups by “making An undercover agent posed as Reed’s gun dealer in order to
members of one group members of another group” in strengthen his cover. But agents in the FBI’s Austin
order to “increase communication and cooperation” so they resident agency felt Reed could go further with more
could unite to violently oppose the government. support. In April 1991, FBI headquarters gave the San
Antonio field office its blessing to launch the PATCON
“This interlocking procedure ... allows groups with different Group I undercover operation in support of Reed’s efforts.
viewpoints but with the same common antigovernment Group I undercover operations are better-funded and more
beliefs to join together,” an informant reported. The groups ambitious than routine undercover investigations and are
would maintain their own names and identities but would reserved for special circumstances in which a specific
be expected to coordinate when the time came for a potential crime is suspected.58
On paper, the predicate for PATCON was the verbal threat
But there were obstacles. Paranoia was rampant during the against two Austin-based FBI agents (who answered to the
convention. One attendee asked too many questions, San Antonio field office), but in practice, its goals were
leading to suspicion he was a government agent. Other strengthening Reed’s cover by showing he had useful allies
convention-goers became convinced the FBI had electronic and collecting information about rumored efforts to
surveillance in place. recreate The Order, the proposed alliance of
antigovernment groups, and the Patriot movement as a
A scramble to increase security led to a wild search of the whole.59
hotel where the convention was taking place. The searchers
discovered a surveillance unit put in place by the local PATCON was built around three undercover agents who
sheriff’s office and nearly caught someone else working the posed as members of an invented racist militia group called
event.55 The actual FBI informants went undiscovered. One the Veterans Aryan Movement (VAM), led by an agent

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using the name Dave Rossi.60 Reed and the agents were set Within weeks of PATCON’s launch, its mandate started to
up with a safe house in the Austin area, wired for sound shift away from the alleged threat to FBI personnel. A June
and video, where they tried – largely without success – to 1991 FBI memorandum outlined PATCON’s goals as
engage Beam’s friends in the TLI in recorded conversations continued infiltration of the TLI, also known as “the Texas
about criminal activity.61 Reserve Militia (aka ‘The Order’),” and surveillance and
interviews of TLI members, with an eye toward prosecution
The agent posing as Rossi was an experienced undercover for “conspiracy to commit Murder, Illegal Possession of
operative who had previously worked on narcotics cases. He Weapons and Explosives, Money Laundering, etc.” 66
was a student of the white supremacist movement and a
military veteran who had served in Vietnam, which was an By November, an FBI headquarters review of PATCON
advantage for infiltrating the veteran-heavy Patriot found that the threat against the agents that justified the
movement. undercover operation was “not as imminent as originally
feared” and had been referenced only in “vague fashion”
since the original report.67
The story of PATCON highlights issues that
are relevant to the challenges of today, Initial investigation revealed that TLI associates had
conducted surveillance on at least one of the Austin agents,
particularly regarding the New York Police who was also overseeing PATCON, including monitoring
Department’s wide-ranging intelligence his home and identifying the times he went jogging. But
when informants and other undercover agents were
collection targeting Muslim communities. deployed to test the seriousness of the plan, the TLI
associates said no action would be taken until after the
Patriot movement had overthrown the U.S. government.
Within the movement, Rossi explained that the VAM was
(The agent who had been the subject of surveillance was
following The Order’s blueprint, conducting armored car
eventually removed from handling PATCON due to the
robberies to fund future terrorist activities.63 The story was
conflict of interest created by investigating people who had
readily accepted, especially as it became clear Rossi had
targeted him.)68
money and was not shy about spending it. The similarities
between the VAM and The Order were also appreciated on
Despite all this, the review concluded that PATCON was
an ideological level.
“well focused” and said it had “not expanded beyond the
intent of the authorization.”69
“The old Order, led by Robert Mathews, tried to do it all
themselves,” said one TLI-connected person in a meeting
But the operation was about to expand, dramatically.
with Rossi, as documented by the FBI. “We need to form
PATCON would serve as a “vehicle to collect evidence of the
units throughout the United States. … The seed was planted
criminal activity of suspected domestic terrorism
by the Order. We must make it grow.”
organizations such as ‘The Order,’” an FBI memorandum
explained. The PATCON investigation would quickly
Around the time PATCON was launched, the FBI
cross state and organizational lines.
promoted a source within CMA to full-time paid informant
status.64 Reed, as well, was given wide latitude to pursue
As for Vince Reed, his contacts with TLI associates in Texas
contacts with TLI associates, at times wearing a wire. 65
led to introductions at the highest levels of the Aryan

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Nations in Hayden Lake, Idaho, where he relocated in 1992. pipelines, commenting on how easy each would be to
While constantly feeding information back to his handlers destroy.73
at the FBI, Reed went on to become “ambassador at large”
for the Aryan Nations with authority to speak for its leader, After an overnight visit in which the men discussed the
Richard Butler, a distinction enjoyed by only one other movement and plans for the revolution, Posey drove the
member of the group – Louis Beam. undercover agents back to the airport. During the drive, one
of them told Posey that VAM was interested in “sexy
Stinger Missiles equipment” for some of its operations. “How about
The intelligence flowing out of the FBI’s Patriot Stingers?” Posey responded immediately. A CMA member
infiltrations, if accurate, was alarming. The aligned groups could provide five Stingers for $40,000 each, but the price
claimed to represent thousands of members with some might be negotiable. They agreed to use the word “catfish”
degree of financing and military experience, who were as code for the missiles in follow-up conversations by
training and stockpiling armories for a revolution against phone.74
the U.S. government, similar to the grandiose ambitions
outlined in The Turner Diaries. The negotiations over the Stingers would drag on for
months, but the Veterans Aryan Movement did not sit idle.
In late February 1992, a source reported to the FBI field As the visitors neared the airport, Posey mentioned that he
office in Birmingham, Alabama, that CMA leader Tom would be attending the Aryan Nations World Congress in
Posey was trying to sell four Stinger antiaircraft missiles on Idaho in July and suggested that Rossi and his colleague
the black market, purportedly on behalf of a friend. A TLI should come along.
member targeted by PATCON vouched for the Veterans
Aryan Movement to Posey a few weeks later, resulting in a The FBI’s invented militia was pushing deeper into the
phone call to Posey on May 6, 1992. shadowy world of right-wing militancy, moving ever further
from its original mandate to investigate threats to the two
“We have a mutual friend in Austin who gave me your FBI agents in Texas.
number and suggested I call you to discuss things of
mutual interest,” Rossi said. “[The] specificity of the threat has decreased,” an FBI
memorandum on the investigation noted. “However, any
They scheduled a face-to-face meeting in June, including time the subject of the FBI comes up in a conversation,
the TLI member, Posey and another CMA member, Rossi, references are made by name to the two threatened FBI
and a second PATCON agent. The depth of the FBI’s agents and veiled threats are once again voiced.” 75
penetration of the movement was illustrated by the fact that
the man Posey brought to watch his back was also a paid To justify the extra funding and resources of a Group I
FBI informant.72 undercover operation, supervising agents are required to
file a status report every 180 days describing the
Posey picked up the agents at the airport in Birmingham. investigation to date and the suspected criminal acts on
On the way back to his house, they drove past the FBI’s which it is predicated.76 Each memorandum on PATCON
Birmingham field office. Posey pointed out the window. and the Texas Light Infantry cited the threat against the
“We’re going to make FBI agents an endangered species,” agents as a predicate for investigating, usually before any
he said. Throughout the drive, Posey noted infrastructure other reason. 77
highlights such as bridges, railroad tracks, towers, and fuel

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But virtually all of PATCON’s investigative activity was doctor and an outspoken opponent of abortion. Grady was
directed toward intelligence-gathering and an ever- head of a dues-paying organization called the American
changing list of other suspected crimes. The threat had Pistol and Rifle Association (APRA), based at his Benton
opened a small door for investigation, and the FBI was compound, which included a church, a firing range, and a
driving a tractor-trailer through the opening. handful of additional buildings, including a residence.81

From the same location, Grady led the “Sovereign Order of

World Tour of Extremism
St. John of Jerusalem,” or simply the Order of St. John, a
The FBI increasingly treated the PATCON undercover
fraternal organization with a “prophetic mission” that
operation as a multipurpose tool to penetrate the Patriot
claimed to trace its roots to a Roman Catholic religious
movement and collect intelligence, sometimes without any
order from the Middle Ages. The OSJ was described as an
prospect for an indictment. The Aryan Nations World
invitation-only sect with branches around the country. 82
Congress presented an irresistible opportunity.
An informant reported that Grady claimed “to have been a
founding member of The Order” with a close relationship
The official purpose for sending the agents to the World
to Robert Mathews.83 In turn, several members of The
Congress was to get Posey on tape discussing the Stinger
Order had been members of APRA.84 (In a 2012 interview,
deal “to help counter any later claims of entrapment,”
Grady denied being a member of The Order.85)
according to an FBI communication. 78 But the interests of
the undercover operation were not restricted to the Stinger
APRA had been represented at the CMA’s disastrous
investigation. PATCON was “essential to the successful
Decatur convention, where a speaker affiliated with Grady’s
identification of new domestic terrorism organizations,” an
group explained that its function was to train “white
FBI memorandum stated.79
supremacists and paramilitary groups on defensive tactics
and how to shoot police officers before they can shoot you,”
The World Congress was an annual meeting of white
according to informants.86
supremacists and assorted other Patriots at Hayden Lake,
Idaho, where the Aryan Nations maintained its
The FBI believed Grady subsequently hosted meetings in
headquarters. About 75 people attended the 1992 congress,
Benton to discuss the proposed “interlocking” of Patriot
from several states and Canada.80 Rossi and another
groups broached at the convention.87
PATCON agent worked the grounds, dropping the names
of TLI members to bolster their credibility.
In meetings between Grady and CMA members earlier in
1992, discussions were held about creating six-man
Speeches were dutifully noted by the agents. One speaker
terrorist cells that would carry out “acts of violence”
told audience members that they should be stockpiling food
including attacks on “microwave, radio, telephone, electric
and weapons for the day that the government would come
and TV towers and then nuclear power plants,” FBI reports
to take their guns, “as stated in ‘The Turner Diaries.’” This
said. Assassinations would be carried out against
would be “a familiar theme throughout most of the
“Congressional leaders, Jewish leaders and neighborhood
speeches,” according to an FBI memorandum. A great deal
leaders of black gangs.”88
of unpleasant talk was reported, but no crimes were on
In the encounter with Rossi, Grady explained that he had
been trying to create the Patriot alliance for 25 years,
The PATCON road show also took Rossi to Benton,
according to an FBI record of the meeting. Grady said the
Tennessee, in mid-1992, to meet with John L. Grady, a

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American Pistol and Rifle Association had units all over the Ruby Ridge
country that “should be prepared to take over small Post Randy Weaver was a small-time member of the Patriot
Offices and do acts of violence such as blowing up movement, a white separatist who had casually interacted
microwave towers.” Each group was supposed to create its with the Aryan Nations, which was based near the remote
own plan of action.89 cabin at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, that Weaver called home. After
he was caught selling a sawed-off shotgun, the Bureau of
But no specific plans were set into motion during the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to persuade
encounter. Instead, the FBI report said, Grady warned Weaver to act as an informant, using the threat of
Rossi that a takeover of the government couldn’t be done, prosecution for the minor weapons violation as leverage.
because “the American public was too complacent, lazy and Weaver refused, and the ATF eventually filed the charge. 95
Months passed, and the U.S. Marshals Service began
Excerpts from several FBI documents containing these crafting an elaborate plan to arrest Weaver. During a
allegations were e-mailed to Grady, who responded in a reconnaissance mission on August 21, 1992, a gunfight
telephone interview. “Every statement that you’ve shown unexpectedly broke out between six U.S. marshals on
me is false,” Grady said. He disputed the contention in FBI Weaver’s property and Weaver and some of his friends and
documents that the Order of St. John and the APRA were family. The sequence of events is disputed, but the results
linked except by virtue of his role in each and denied that were clear: One of the marshals was killed, along with
the groups were white supremacist in nature and that they Weaver’s 14-year-old son Sammy.
were aligned with CMA.
A standoff ensued, lasting several days, with the FBI’s
“We had nothing to do with Posey. I hardly knew his Hostage Rescue Team surrounding the Weavers’ home and
name,” Grady said, discounting assertions that CMA and making efforts to negotiate. Finally, the tense situation
APRA worked together. He said he was aware of Posey as a erupted when an FBI sniper fired twice, wounding Randy
“good patriotic man,” but “that’s as far as that went.” 91 Weaver and killing his unarmed wife, Vicki, who was
According to the FBI records, Grady told Rossi to join the holding their baby in her arms.96
APRA and asked if he was coming to the organization’s
convention in September.92 While welcoming, Grady was Bo Gritz, a former Green Beret and decorated Vietnam vet
also wary. According to the records, he explained to Rossi who had become prominent in the Patriot movement, was
that “agents and informants should be dealt with, brought in as an interlocutor between the federal
eliminated, that this was the way to deal with them and authorities surrounding the property and the Weaver
discourage their attempts at infiltration of the family. Randy Weaver finally surrendered to Gritz and
movement.” another prominent Patriot, Jack McLamb, a few days
According to an FBI account of the conversation, those
comments were directly sparked by discussion of a violent Weaver would ultimately be acquitted of murder in the
standoff in remote Ruby Ridge, Idaho. 94 What the Patriots death of the marshal.98 Regarding the death of Vicki
didn’t know was that a member of the Veterans Aryan Weaver, the Justice Department’s internal investigation
Movement had been involved in Ruby Ridge – on the side assigned blame both to the sniper who fired the shot and to
of the government. the rules of engagement set by headquarters for the

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Ruby Ridge instantly became a signal event for the Patriot The Convention
movement, which had been waiting for evidence that a In late September 1992, Rossi returned to Benton to attend
government crackdown like the one predicted in The the American Pistol and Rifle Association convention at the
Turner Diaries was soon to become reality. Scant days later, compound of the Order of St. John (OSJ). At least one FBI
the FBI added the threat of revenge attacks for Ruby Ridge informant was in attendance as well. The FBI’s Knoxville
to its constantly evolving list of justifications to continue the field office had been monitoring the two linked
PATCON investigation.100 organizations with an aggressive informant program for
months. In July, the FBI made the decision to move
Among the many enraged by Ruby Ridge was Timothy PATCON’s supervisory functions from San Antonio to
McVeigh, who was still living near Buffalo at the time. He Knoxville as a tool to further the investigation of the OSJ. 104
heard about the siege from news media, then began
seeking more information from right-wing shortwave radio Under the FBI’s rules, investigations must be predicated on
broadcasts. Years later, McVeigh’s defense attorney the belief that criminal activity is taking place. PATCON
remembered his client saying that Ruby Ridge was “the was now operating far afield from its original justification,
defining moment in his life that impelled him to act against the alleged threats against FBI agents by members of the
the government.”101 As bad as all of this was, the Patriots Texas Light Infantry (which was not represented at the
never learned that a member of the fictional Veterans convention). The San Antonio field office protested the
Aryan Movement had been on the scene as part of an FBI transfer to Knoxville, saying PATCON should continue
SWAT team. monitoring those threats. A communique from FBI
headquarters decreed that PATCON could keep an eye on
According to FBI communications, the agent (whose name things in Texas while pursuing the case in Tennessee. 105
and alias are not known) had taken rudimentary
precautions to avoid discovery – pulling a coat over his head Tom Posey and Dave Rossi arrived in Benton as the
when he passed through the FBI roadblock on the way to conference began. About 150 members from at least 12
the scene, and staying at a motel in a less-trafficked area.102 states were in attendance. APRA officials conducted daily
Nevertheless, a Bureau review found that no one could be firearms training that included, at one point, a live-fire
sure the agent had not been photographed in transit or assault exercise, according to Rossi’s report of the event.
spotted among a crowd of FBI agents on the scene. The After APRA members concluded general training, Order of
Bureau wasn’t sure his face was covered fully, or covered all St. John members shot at targets with pictures of police
the time.103 Dozens of Patriots had gathered at the outskirts officers and squad cars, according to the FBI. Weapons and
of the standoff. Any one of them might have seen the agent, equipment were sold and bartered among members
and the same was true for Gritz and McLamb, who had attending the conference. 106
been inside the FBI’s lines.
Several speeches from the event were videotaped. On the
The decision was made that protecting “Rossi’s” cover was third day of the conference, Grady took the stage to
of paramount importance, and the other agent was pulled introduce Bo Gritz, pausing to praise Posey for his efforts
from his PATCON assignment in September. The move with Civilian Materiel Assistance in support of the
might have seemed like an excess of caution, but the timing Nicaraguan Contras. Rossi was sitting next to Posey, who
was fortunate. The Veterans Aryan Movement was about to waved his hat. In a speech that ran well over two hours,
come face-to-face with Bo Gritz. Gritz predicted that the government would declare a

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national emergency by 1994 and seize everyone’s guns, just incident. But the speech had been videotaped, and Grady
as described in The Turner Diaries, after which the cannot be seen making either statement.110
population would be forced to receive the “mark of the
Beast” – described as a microchip that would be implanted The convention videotape highlights the ambiguities of the
in the hands of newborns to identify them to the PATCON investigation. On one hand, it can be seen as
government. contradicting Grady’s flat denial that APRA was involved in
racist politics and his claim to “barely know” Posey. But it
Gritz described his role at Ruby Ridge in vivid detail, also suggests the FBI’s written account of the event is
blasting the FBI and ATF and describing himself as the flawed. Whether misremembered or misconstrued, the FBI
God-guided savior who prevented further bloodshed. Gritz report portrayed Grady’s speech as a clear call to violence
was crystal clear about the reason for the assault – it had when in reality it was carefully worded to avoid
happened because Randy Weaver had refused to become an incriminating language.
informant. “Friends, you could be a Weaver,” Gritz
warned.107 The next year’s APRA convention was canceled. An APRA
newsletter explained:
On the final night of the conference, Grady rose to speak,
immediately following a speech laden with racist, anti- “This decision was made after it became clearly evident that
Semitic, and homophobic themes by John Rakus of the at least one BATF informant and possibly another agent
National Justice Foundation, whom Grady introduced as an had ‘infiltrated’ the APRA organization for the purpose of
APRA member and a member of the group’s national setting up a ‘sting operation.’ This attempted entrapment, if
advisory board. In steady tones, Grady described the successful, could have resulted in the arrest and
coming “chastisement” of America by God, while carefully incarceration of Dr. Grady and others; a raid on the
invoking the shadow of violence without explicitly calling property where APRA is provided office space; or in the
for action. He told the rapt crowd that they should hope for worst scenario, an assault on the APRA Rendezvous similar
the opportunity to “die as martyrs” and urged them to to the Waco massacre.”111
prepare for death.
There are different ways to interpret this. PATCON may
“I don’t know about you, but I made up my mind a long have lost a valuable intelligence-gathering opportunity. It
time ago that I would rather end my existence in the could be seen as having disrupted a conclave of extremists
struggle than in a nursing home,” Grady said. “I pray every and possibly disrupting their alleged plans to mount a
day, ‘God, let me be an instrument of your power. Let me campaign of terrorism. Or it may have simply shut down a
be the mark of your determination. Let me be part of your gathering that fell within the bounds of First Amendment
chastisement. Make me a warrior.’” safeguards protecting unpopular speech.

The FBI’s report on the convention included notes on

From Stingers to Night Vision
Grady’s speech. According to the report, Grady stated that
PATCON’s change in focus to the Order of St. John came
“someone would have to pay the price for what happened to
not a moment too soon, as the most recent justification for
Weaver’s wife” and that “a person was better off to take out
the investigation – the alleged sale of black-market Stinger
as many people as they could than to be arrested and taken
missiles by Tom Posey – was evaporating. Rossi had
to jail.”109 The statements nicely reinforced the FBI’s
confronted Posey over the missiles after a series of failed
investigative interest in threats related to the Weaver
promises to show the merchandise. In a confrontation rife

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with irony and drama, Rossi accused Posey of being an goggles from Fort Hood in Texas, which were then stolen
informant and asked if the Stinger deal was a government from him by an Alabama pawn shop owner. 115
Some of the goggles were subsequently turned over to
People were talking about Posey, Rossi said, speculating Posey and other CMA members, who began selling them
that his connections with the government during the Iran- all over the country.116 Rossi bought several pairs from
Contra years had compromised him. Posey shot back that Posey at the APRA convention, using money that had been
he had never worked for a government agency in any set aside for the Stinger deal.117
capacity. Rossi replied that his (fictional) associates in the
VAM suspected the Stingers had never really existed. Posey The next logical step was to inform the Army and confirm
became defensive, insinuating that he had his own the goggles were from Fort Hood. But the PATCON
suspicions about Rossi. undercover operation was perceived to be going well and
providing extraordinary intelligence, and the FBI was loath
to share details. A decision was made to withhold the serial
Grady described the coming “chastisement” numbers on the recovered goggles from military
of America by God, while carefully invoking investigators who were pursuing the thieves.118

the shadow of violence without explicitly The Army responded by placing its own agent undercover.
calling for action. He told the rapt crowd that In October 1992, an Army informant traded weapons for
night-vision goggles from a CMA member at a popular gun
they should hope for the opportunity to “die show in Knob Creek, Kentucky, then began methodically
as martyrs” and urged them to prepare for working up the supply chain toward Posey through a series
of transactions involving undercover agents and
death. informants. One of them even provided new sets of goggles
for Posey to resell.119

They continued to talk, and the tense moment passed.

But Posey did something unexpected – he contacted the
According to the FBI, Posey claimed the Stingers had been
Army and reported the informant who was trying to cut a
sold to another party for a higher price. The FBI’s
deal with him. Posey claimed ignorance that any of the
documents and several interviews with people with direct
goggles were stolen but gave up the pawn shop owner and
knowledge of the events paint a murky picture but offer no
offered to use his knowledge of the black market to assist
clear evidence the Stingers had been real.113 But Posey had a
the Army’s investigation.120 More transactions ensued, but
new deal for the undercover agent. He knew a guy who had
now Posey was accompanied by an undercover Army
60 pairs of night-vision goggles for sale, he said, and these
were not vaporware. He pulled a sample out of the trunk of
his car.114
Information was shared between the Army and FBI
investigators only sporadically.122 In the middle of all this,
The Stinger investigation was petering out. A new
Dave Rossi – the FBI’s undercover agent – called Posey to
investigation had begun. The FBI was reasonably certain it
ask about buying more goggles, as well as portable rocket
knew the origins of the night-vision gear. In July, Army
launchers and hand grenades.123 Posey begged off, saying
Specialist Timothy Boley had stolen 61 pairs of night-vision

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he had more business than he could handle. Almost all of assault as just the kind of nightmare crackdown on gun
his business associates were government agents. owners they had feared all along.
The Army’s investigators identified Boley as the likely thief.
He confessed in January 1993 and was referred for court- CMA members even began discussing whether they should
martial.124 Tom Posey was not arrested. PATCON stage a paramilitary intervention on behalf of the Branch
continued. Davidians. At one of these meetings in March, a CMA
member told others that he believed the sniper who had
Waco killed Vicki Weaver was part of the FBI’s hostage team at
While the investigation of Posey remained in a holding Waco.130 This turned out to be true, further entrenching the
pattern, a storm was gathering near Waco, Texas, that idea of a government conspiracy against gun owners. 131
would crystallize the anger that had been building for years
in the Patriot movement. Posey and other CMA members also discussed revenge,
proposing to bomb government buildings and to kill five
Not long after Timothy McVeigh met CMA associate Roger FBI and ATF agents for every Branch Davidian who died at
Moore at the Fort Lauderdale gun show, the Bureau of Waco. Investigators forwarded threat reports regarding
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute a CMA and John Grady’s Order of St. John to FBI
search warrant at Mount Carmel outside Waco, the headquarters and the Hostage Rescue Team at Waco, but
compound of the Branch Davidian cult led by David their weight was unclear.132 FBI officials involved with the
Koresh. The ATF believed the sect had assembled an siege said in 2012 that they were concerned in a general way
arsenal of illegal weapons and brought a virtual army to about possible intervention by Patriot activists but did not
raid the property on February 28, 1993. After a massive recall any specific threats. Unlike earlier references to Ruby
gunfight, resulting in deaths on both sides, a standoff Ridge, Waco-related threats were not added to the list of
ensued.125 justifications for PATCON.133

The Branch Davidians were known locally as gun traders. As the siege dragged on for days, then weeks, members of
They frequented local gun shows and had links to the allied various Patriot groups showed up outside the FBI’s
militia groups. One CMA associate sold ammunition to the perimeter to camp out in protest. Former Texas Light
sect.126 An Illinois company, Nesard Gun Parts Co., sold Infantry members and associates asserted in interviews that
weapons kits to both the Branch Davidians and the Texas the group was not represented among the protesters, but on
Light Infantry.127 McVeigh himself reputedly met Paul March 18, Louis Beam was arrested at the scene after a vocal
Fatta, a member of the Branch Davidians, at a gun show outburst at the FBI’s daily press briefing.134
before the raid.128
Kirk Lyons, Beam’s friend and former lawyer, inserted
The Branch Davidians’ enemies were also known. In the himself into negotiations between the FBI and the sect. 135
wake of the disastrous ATF raid, the FBI besieged Mount Lyons – who ,like Beam, was good friends with several TLI
Carmel. Special Agent in Charge Jeff Jamar – head of the members – fought to be allowed to represent Koresh. 136
San Antonio field office that had been keeping watch on the Former TLI member Dave Hollaway assisted Lyons in his
TLI since 1991, and whose subordinates were conducting efforts.137
PATCON – took charge of the FBI forces surrounding the
compound.129 As the siege unfolded, many Patriots saw the Into this volatile mix walked Timothy McVeigh. During
February, as the siege began, McVeigh had spent time with

new america foundation – page 17

Tom Posey’s friend Roger Moore in Florida, meeting with arms against an oppressive government, but Grady said he
him at least twice. “I told him that if he was going west, the was getting too old for such battles and would leave them to
next best gun show that he could go to, the biggest, was the young.141
Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Moore testified in 1997. Going further,
the ammunition dealer invited McVeigh to visit Moore’s Tom Posey was also pondering the events at Waco. In a
ranch in Royal, Arkansas. meeting described by an informant, CMA members
discussed the government’s plans to enslave the population
Reportedly transfixed by news accounts of events at Waco, and talked about targets they could hit with terrorist attacks
McVeigh drove to the scene in mid-March, around the time to avenge what Posey described as the “butchery” of the
Beam was arrested. He found a crowd of like-minded Branch Davidians by the FBI and ATF. 142 Two days later,
Patriot protesters camped outside the FBI perimeter around while driving to Birmingham with the informant, Posey
Mount Carmel. McVeigh camped there for a couple of days, again pointed out the building that housed the FBI’s offices
passing out antigovernment bumper stickers and talking to and suggested it would be a good target, just as he had a
a reporter about the injustice he perceived. 139 year before.143

On April 19, 1993, the FBI stormed the Branch Davidians’ In the weeks after Waco, Posey’s posture appeared to be
compound at Mount Carmel. A fire broke out and 76 hardening. Toward the end of April, he tried to confront a
members of the sect were killed, including pregnant car full of FBI agents conducting surveillance on a handful
women and children. The conduct of the raid sparked a of CMA members. The car drove away before the members
series of government investigations that ultimately could agree on an attack.144
concluded the fire was set by members of the sect, but
serious criticisms were leveled against the government’s “The more volatile members of [CMA] appear not only
handling of the case from start to finish. 140 prepared for, but desirous of a confrontation with federal
officers,” an FBI document stated.145
For the Patriots, the assault was nothing short of murder,
predicated solely on the fact that the Branch Davidians were Increasingly the discussion focused on a plan Posey had
armed. It was the grim fulfillment of The Turner Diaries been talking about for a long time – a raid on the Browns
prediction that the government would use any means Ferry nuclear power plant in Alabama. Posey believed the
necessary to disarm the public, and many saw a direct line plant had an armory stocked with high-powered weapons
between Ruby Ridge and Waco. he coveted. The idea for the raid was first reported by an
informant in 1990, but it had gone nowhere since.
Just over a week had passed since the fiery conclusion to After Waco, it was back on the table. In the months after
the Waco siege, and the VAM’s Dave Rossi was in Benton, the end of the siege, Posey allegedly began crafting a plan to
Tennessee, to meet with John Grady, head of the Order of suborn the plant’s security guards and break in using a five-
St. John. It was a tense time for the movement. After Rossi man team.146 With the plot apparently moving toward
was inspected to see if he was wearing a wire, the fruition, the FBI finally arrested Posey and several other
conversation turned to Waco. CMA members in September 1993.

“What will it take to wake up the American people?” Grady After years of infiltration – informants and multiple
asked. The day could come when he might have to take up undercover operations by both the FBI and the Army – the

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only charges brought against Posey stemmed from the theft In Grady’s recollection of that meeting, he confronted Rossi
of the night-vision goggles, which the Justice Department and accused him of being an undercover agent, resulting in
could have prosecuted almost a year earlier. Rossi breaking off contact.154 Either way, FBI headquarters
determined in July “that insufficient justification exists to
Five members of CMA and the pawn shop owner were justify” a continued investigation of the Order of St. John,
indicted by a grand jury. Two of the defendants were the pretext to which PATCON had most recently been
convicted, and two pleaded guilty. It was the only case attached.
investigated by PATCON that ever led to a trial, but the
prosecution was based almost exclusively on evidence Both the investigation and the undercover operation were
gathered by the Army’s investigation and a handful of FBI terminated. San Antonio and Knoxville were instructed in
informants.148 unusually strong terms that they “should conduct no
Posey maintained at trial that he didn’t know the goggles further investigation regarding either [the Order of St. John]
had been stolen and received a minimal sentence for or PATCON.”155 Grady was never charged with any crime
trafficking in stolen goods. He was released from prison relating to the PATCON-era investigation of his group.
after two years, in early 1996, but CMA as an organization Today, he serves as Grand Master Emeritus of the Order of
was basically finished.149 And so was PATCON. St. John.

In April, the Knoxville field office (which oversaw Tom Posey stayed out of the headlines for some time after
PATCON) had come under scrutiny for its investigative his release from prison in early 1996. 156 But in January
focus. An FBI headquarters review committee expressed 2009, he was brought before a federal judge once more,
concern that Knoxville was “only obtaining intelligence and charged with possession of a 9mm pistol, a .22-caliber
not moving forward with the criminal investigation.” 150 The revolver, and an M-1 .30-caliber rifle, which he was
PATCON undercover agents were cautioned to limit their forbidden to own due to his status as a convicted felon.
reporting to criminal activity and not “speeches or rhetoric Posey was preparing to enter a guilty plea to the charges
protected by the First Amendment.” 151 when he was afflicted by a stroke, which left him on a
feeding tube. He was unable to participate in or understand
An audit of PATCON financials the same month found that the proceedings against him. The government dismissed
$70,000 in funds slated for the operation had not been the charges in October 2010. Posey died nine months
accounted for. The audit noted that the San Antonio later.157
division had been unable to fully respond to queries
because the case agent overseeing PATCON on that end Oklahoma City Begins
had been assigned to the Waco siege on a full-time basis.152 Waco left Timothy McVeigh a changed man. He was
PATCON documents released under the Freedom of already steeped in Patriot rhetoric, but the process
Information Act did not include any later records revealing accelerated after Mount Carmel, where the movement had
whether the missing funds were accounted for. gathered. McVeigh began listening to Patriot shortwave
broadcasts religiously and consuming the movement’s
On June 22, Rossi visited Grady for the last time. At the end literature and videotapes found at gun shows. 158
of the meeting, according to the undercover agent’s report,
Grady apologized for initially suspecting Rossi was a “fed” The Patriots’ rhetoric had hardened after years of cold war
and invited him to come back anytime. 153 with the FBI and ATF, and the all too overt events at Ruby

new america foundation – page 19

Ridge and Waco. PATCON had ended, but remnants of the up a table across the aisle from a member of the Order of
targeted groups were scattered along McVeigh’s path. St. John who served as an aide to John Grady. 164

After leaving Waco in the second half of March, McVeigh Tom Posey and other CMA members had regularly
continued on to Tulsa to set up a table at the gun show attended the Knob Creek show in previous years, and just
Roger Moore had recommended. Waco dominated the one year earlier, the informant for the Army’s Criminal
conversation. Investigation Division had obtained a pair of night-vision
goggles from a CMA associate there.165
McVeigh met two other men in Tulsa. One was Andreas
Strassmeir, a German citizen who had moved to the United Years after the fact, Terry Nichols, McVeigh’s co-
States some years earlier. According to FBI documents, he conspirator in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, wrote in a
had spent time with the Texas Light Infantry, then moved sworn statement that McVeigh had learned how to make
to Elohim City, a rural Oklahoma community heavily his bomb at the 1993 show at Knob Creek. 166 Nichols also
associated with members of the racist Christian Identity alleged that Moore was a knowing participant in the
movement. The other was Dennis Mahon, a friend of bombing and an FBI informant, claims that have never
Strassmeir and frequent visitor to Elohim City. 159 been substantiated elsewhere.167

After the Tulsa gun show ended, McVeigh visited with Capping off a convoluted tale, Nichols today claims the
Moore and his girlfriend, Karen Anderson, for a few days, entire bombing was directed by the FBI. According to
then went to visit an old Army buddy, Terry Nichols, at his Nichols, McVeigh admitted he had been recruited by the
home in Decker, Michigan. On April 19, they watched in government as an agent provocateur, improbably taking
horror as TV news reports showed the unfolding disaster at orders from an FBI official168 who was also at least
Waco.160 tangentially involved in the investigation of John Grady and
the Order of St. John.169 Most of Nichols’s allegations
In September, Moore and McVeigh met at the Soldier of remain, at best, unverifiable.
Fortune convention in Las Vegas, which was a regular
recruiting and social occasion for CMA. Posey and other Despite the overlap between his claims and the groups
senior CMA members were at the event, which took place targeted by PATCON, Nichols said in an interview for this
days before Posey’s arrest and at the height of Posey’s report that he’d never heard of the American Pistol and
chatter about revenge for the deaths at Mount Carmel.161 Rifle Association or Civilian Materiel Assistance before his
Tensions ran high at the convention, and the organizers arrest. Nichols said he was unaware of McVeigh having
strongly urged participants to stay away from politics. contact with either group.170
McVeigh did not heed the warning, talking loudly to Moore
about Waco and the Patriots in front of a convention In the days before the bombing, McVeigh placed calls to
attendee who was wearing a law enforcement badge. Moore two people associated with the Texas Light Infantry. On
told McVeigh to keep quiet about Patriots. The men got into April 5, 1995, McVeigh called Elohim City, the home of
a shouting match, but patched things up before the end of Andreas Strassmeir, the man McVeigh met at the Tulsa
the day.162 gun show in 1993. Testimony in the trial of Terry Nichols
indicated that McVeigh had been trying to reach
A couple of weeks later, McVeigh and Moore attended a Strassmeir, but there is no evidence the two spoke.171
popular gun show at Knob Creek in Kentucky.163 Moore set

new america foundation – page 20

FBI documents describe Strassmeir as a member of the Infiltration and Patriot Rhetoric
TLI, but a former member said in an interview that only Infiltration would cast a long shadow over the Patriot
U.S. citizens could join the organization. Strassmeir was, at movement in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing.
minimum, friends with several people associated with the Most important, it provided a mechanism for deflecting
group.172 Strassmeir did not respond to requests for an blame, prompting Patriot activists to rewrite history to shift
interview, but he has repeatedly denied any contact with responsibility away from the crime’s perpetrators –
McVeigh beyond the 1993 meeting in Tulsa. McVeigh and anyone who helped him – and onto the
federal government.
On April 18, the day before the bombing, Dave Hollaway,
the former member of TLI who had taken a job with the Patriot rhetoric after the bombing turned almost
CAUSE Foundation, received a phone call at the immediately toward claims that agents provacateurs had
foundation’s office from a person who did not identify played a key role in the attack, a natural fit for the
himself but was later determined to be McVeigh. conspiracy-minded movement. The reality of the FBI’s
extensive infiltration of Patriot groups made such claims
Strassmeir had lived with Hollaway off and on in various easy to mount and hard to glibly discount.
places over the course of about five years. After the
bombing, Hollaway flew with Strassmeir back to his native The idea of agent provocateur tends to outstrip the reality,
Germany. In an e-mail interview, Hollaway said the caller due partly to its rhetorical power and partly from its use as a
to the foundation who was later identified as McVeigh last-ditch legal defense by people caught in the act. After the
spoke only in generalities. Hollaway also said he had World Trade Center truck bombing in 1993 and a
cautioned the caller against any illegal acts. 174 subsequent, thwarted plot to bomb New York City
landmarks, defense attorneys and some in the Muslim
Strassmeir and Dennis Mahon had remained close. community zeroed in on Emad Salem, an informant who
Starting in 1994 and continuing through early 1995, an ATF played a key role gathering evidence while posing as a co-
informant named Carol Howe reported on both Strassmeir conspirator. The charge that Salem was an agent
and Mahon. According to Howe, the men were discussing provocateur was roundly discredited in court proceedings,
bombing a federal building, specifically including one in but it continues to be repeated by Muslim radicals and even
Oklahoma City.175 On April 19, 1995, the second anniversary by Patriot figures interviewed for this report. 178
of the Waco assault, a truck bomb exploded outside the
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma Many Patriots still believe the Oklahoma City bombing was
City, killing 168 people. McVeigh would be executed for the a government conspiracy, with almost everyone involved or
crime; Nichols received life sentences. adjacent to the plot being identified at one time or another
as an agent provocateur, particularly Roger Moore and
Mahon would go on to become a well-known figure in Andreas Strassmeir, but even McVeigh himself. Patriot
white supremacist circles and was convicted in February movement figures interviewed for this report insisted that
2012 for the mail bombing of a state diversity official in the bombing was supported by government provacateurs,
Arizona eight years earlier. After his arrest in 2009, Mahon while adding that the agents were not they themselves or
told his cellmate that he was “the number three anonymous anyone they knew personally.
person in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation.” 176 At
press time, Mahon’s sentencing was set for May 22, 2012. 177 Numerous people interviewed for this report described
PATCON’s Dave Rossi as a government provocateur.

new america foundation – page 21

Claims that were made on the record were not specific, and with women in the Muslim community as part of his
claims that were specific were not made on the record. infiltration.182
Despite the fact that virtually no one speaking on the record
would describe Rossi’s activities in anything but the vaguest There is also a venerable history of FBI misconduct in this
terms, claims about PATCON’s provocative nature have regard. Most infamous is a covert FBI program known as
mushroomed online since the existence of the program was COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counterintelligence
first disclosed by the author in 2007. A number of online Program), which monitored and harassed a wide variety of
postings in 2011 and 2012 used the existence of PATCON to domestic political groups from 1956 to 1971, ranging from
argue that Attorney General Eric Holder was personally the Ku Klux Klan to communists, socialists and anti-war
responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, despite the organizations. COINTELPRO had a wide mandate based on
fact that at the time he was the U.S. Attorney for the a national security claim and crossed numerous lines
District of Columbia. No evidence exists to suggest Holder infringing on American’s First Amendment rights.
was linked to PATCON or that he played any sort of role in
managing informants or undercover agents anywhere in The program, which has been rigorously documented, has
the vicinity of the bombing.179 become shorthand for FBI excess.183 It is frequently cited
by critics of infiltration-driven investigations of extremism
The persistence of the provocateur paradigm points toward in the Muslim community and by Patriot figures in various
the secondary effects of infiltration, which are rarely writings and during the course of interviews for this
scrutinized. The reality of the FBI’s extensive infiltration of report.184
the Patriot movement helps reinforce a paranoid worldview
in which the government becomes the perpetrator of COINTELPRO demonstrates the damage that can be done
crimes like the Oklahoma City bombing, thus exonerating by FBI overreach. Critics of FBI tactics are still bringing it
true radical figures and providing a fresh (if usually false) up decades later, both as a pejorative and as evidence that
grievance to fuel further radicalization. the government is willing and capable of engaging in
broadly abusive behavior in the name of national security,
The problem is compounded by credible allegations that showing that breaches of trust can have ramifications for
reasonable people would likely see as excess and overreach, generations to come.
notably the use of sex and sexualized interactions. One
informant dated Andreas Strassmeir for months during the Recommendations
1990s and later implicated him in the Oklahoma City The PATCON case study points to the need to gather more
bombing.180 Years later, a different informant reportedly data on the secondary effects of infiltration and to manage
used sexual innuendo and provocative pictures to get close the use of this tool more responsibly. Areas for further
to Strassmeir’s former roommate Dennis Mahon. In both study and additional government disclosure include:
cases, observers claimed or suspected that the informants
had sex with their targets in the course of collecting An independent examination of the FBI’s statistical
information, allegations that are credible but not verified. scoring system for evaluating field office performance, with
(In Mahon’s case, the government specifically denied an eye toward measuring how the frequency of use of
during court proceedings that sexual intercourse had taken extraordinary tools such as Foreign Intelligence
place.)181 The sex issue is not limited to Patriots. In March Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and undercover
2012, a male informant who has made questionable claims operations compares to the frequency of prosecutions
in the past alleged he was authorized by the FBI to have sex resulting from such investigations. This should not be seen

new america foundation – page 22

as marshaling evidence against the use of extraordinary
tools, but the number of completed prosecutions is a valid Additional study should proceed with a clear understanding
and useful data point in this discussion. The statistical that infiltration is an important tool for law enforcement,
scoring system should also be evaluated as to whether it but one that poses unique challenges in direct proportion to
creates artificial pressure to use infiltration and other its unique capabilities. Such study should be undertaken by
extraordinary techniques apart from a legitimate strictly neutral parties rather than advocates, since the
investigative interest. volume and nature of the data make it easy to selectively
mine information in support of a pre-determined
A quantitative study of the long-term use by federal conclusion. The extreme complexity and political volatility
agencies of confidential sources (informants) and of the issues that arise from infiltration programs create an
undercover operations that have been publicly disclosed. unusually high risk of such confirmation bias.
This study should identify useful data for comparison and
analysis, such as the length of infiltration, the number of
agents and informants per target, the number of targets
covered by each agent and informant, the tactics used to
infiltrate, conviction rates, and judicial rulings on the
admissibility of informant and undercover testimony. The
study should also define and quantify the types of
confidential sources used, since these can range from a
one-time report of suspected misdoings to extended
surveillance by paid informants.

Use of the Freedom of Information Act to create additional

detailed case studies of historical infiltration operations that
have not been fully and publicly disclosed, with special
attention to violent extremism cases with significant risk of
alienating or radicalizing feedback in targeted

Detailed polling and focus groups to collect data on how

infiltration is perceived in both targeted communities and
control groups, with an eye toward understanding the
secondary effects of infiltration and how they affect public
trust in government and willingness to cooperate with law

Case studies on the use of informants and undercover

operations by local law enforcement agencies in different
jurisdictions, where many of the same issues apply.
Compare and contrast these examples with federal

new america foundation – page 23

Sources, Disclaimers, and but declined to speak on the record. They have my heartfelt
Acknowledgments thanks.
The bulk of this report is based on Freedom of Information
Act requests pertaining to the groups and persons Editor Janet Walsh and former FBI special agent David
described, as well as a request for all documents pertaining Gomez reviewed this report at various stages and offered
to the PATCON undercover operation. editing suggestions and helpful notes. Many thanks are due
Brian Fishman of the New America Foundation, who made
I first discovered PATCON based on FOIA requests for this report happen and provided substantial feedback along
information about the Texas Light Infantry, which led me the way.
to the Order of St. John and Civilian Materiel Assistance. A
handful of documents from those requests referenced the As noted in various places in the text, the events described
undercover operation. I published the first-ever report on in documents are presented mostly from the perspective of
PATCON in 2007 along with some of the documents on the FBI and specifically from the perspective of information
my Web site, the FBI was willing to release; the report should be read
( with that in mind. When information contained in the
exclusive-look-inside.html). documents contradicted information from other sources,
the contradiction was either noted in the text or the
I subsequently filed an FOIA request specifically focused information was omitted until it can be more clearly
on PATCON. Around the same time, Salt Lake City verified.
attorney Jesse Trentadue independently did the same, based
on our conversations about the material. We subsequently I continue to investigate the events and personalities
shared the results, as each of our requests covered slightly described in this report. Several story elements and
different types of material. allegations that could not be fully verified by press time but
did not contradict the account in the report were omitted
Trentadue is well known for his FOIA lawsuit against the from the story. It is my intention to continue fleshing out
FBI over the Oklahoma City bombing (more information this story. Persons with direct knowledge of these events
can be found at and at should feel free to contact me through my Web site, In addition
to sharing the results of the PATCON FOIA, Trentadue
provided a significant number of additional documents
pertaining to the bombing.

Roger Charles, who has co-authored a forthcoming book on

the Oklahoma City bombing (Oklahoma City: What the
Investigation Missed–and Why It Still Matters, with
Andrew Gumbel) has discussed various aspects of the case
with me over the course of several years, and his insights
have always been useful and very much appreciated.
Some people with direct knowledge of the events described
in this report discussed them with me at length, shared
material, and verified independently obtained information

new america foundation – page 24

July 2, 1995; Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck, American Terrorist
1 : Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing (New
Muslim Americans: No signs of growth in alienation or York: Regan Books, 2001), 87-88
support for extremism, Pew Research Center, August 2011, Michel and Herbeck, American Terrorist, op. cit., 85-86, 91- 92
American-Report.pdf Michel and Herbeck, American Terrorist, op. cit., 60;
A list of stories and related documents published by the McVeigh Chronology, PBS Frontline, undated,
Associated Press can be found at
Abby Goodnough, “Man Is Held in a Plan to Bomb h/
Washington,” New York Times, September 28, 2011, Andrew McDonald (William Pierce), The Turner Diaries (electronic edition, 1996)
accused-of-plotting-to-bomb-washington.html Trial transcript, U.S. v. Timothy James McVeigh, Criminal
Shelley Murphy, “’Whitey’ Bulger’s ex-girlfriend testifies at Action No. 96-CR-68, May 15, 1997
Connolly trial,” Boston Globe, October 16, 2008, Trial transcript, U.S. v. Terry Lynn Nichols, Criminal Action No. 96-CR-68, November 18, 1997
whitey_bulgers.html FBI FD-302, interview with Neal Edward Trickel, December
Paul Wagenseil, “FBI may have known in advance of Stratfor 5, 1995; Timothy McVeigh defense document, “Interview with
hack,”, March 7, 2012, Martin W. Powell,” November 12, 1996; Timothy McVeigh defense document, “Interview with Verda Powell,” November
_science-security/#.T1yuzjGrK-Q 13, 1996
7 22
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, June 16, 1992 Interview with former CMA member Tony Gooch, March
FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, March 5, 1993 2012; interviews with a former CMA member, January 2012 to
9 March 2012; Nichols defense memorandum, “The Enigma of
10 Roger Moore,” December 18, 1996; FBI FD-302, interview of
figures-2010-2011/intelligence; interviews with a former FBI Karen Anderson, January 12, 1996
agent working in domestic terrorism, various dates 2011-2012 Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to
Interview with Byron Sage, former FBI agent overseeing part Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, deposition of Thomas V.
of the PATCON operation, April 2012; interview with former Posey, April 23, 1987
FBI undercover agent handling investigation related to Ibid.; interview with Tony Gooch; Jack Terrell and Ron
PATCON, April 2012 Martz, Disposable Patriot: Revelations of a Soldier in
PATCON documents obtained through FOIA America’s Secret Wars (National Press Books, Washington,
Interviews with a former FBI agent, op. cit. D.C., 1992)
14 25
Interview with Byron Sage, former FBI agent overseeing part Scripps Howard News Service, “Iran-Contra Hearing May
of the PATCON operation, April 2012; interview with former Focus on Group’s Ties to North’s Aide,” The Miami News,
FBI undercover agent handling investigation related to May 16, 1987
PATCON, April 2012 Richard Cole, “Judge Blasts Contra Conspiracy Suit, Awards
Dale Russakoff and Serge F. Kovaleski, “An Ordinary Boy's Defendants $1 Million,” Associated Press, February 4, 1989
Extraordinary Rage,” The Washington Post, “New US party planned,” Associated Press, December 18,
1986; “Posey Plans to Start New Patriotic Party,” Associated
Press (Waycross Journal Herald), December 20, 1986

new america foundation – page 25

28 43
Deposition of Thomas V. Posey, op. cit.; FBI FBI letterhead memorandum, December 21, 1990, op. cit.
communication, Phoenix to HQ, re: TLI and CMA FBI letterhead memorandum, PATCON, January 2, 1992;
investigations, March 3, 1991 FBI letterhead memorandum, “Texas Reserve Militia aka First
Ibid.; FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, Texas Light Infantry,” June 24, 1991; FBI communication, San
December 10, 1991 Antonio to HQ, December 21, 1990; FBI communication, San
Interview with former FBI special agent Cecil Moses, March Antonio to HQ, December 4, 1990
2012; U.S. v. Terry Nichols, November 18, 1997, testimony of FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, November
Roger Moore 20, 1991; interview with former FBI agent Byron Sage, April
FBI letterhead memorandum, “Texas Reserve Militia aka 2012; FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source,
Texas Light Infantry,” December 20, 1991 December 30, 1991
32 46
The Badger (Texas Light Infantry newsletter), June 1987; FBI letterhead memorandum, PATCON, January 2, 1992;
interview with Dave Hollaway, March 2012; Letters from TLI FBI letterhead memorandum, “Texas Reserve Militia aka First
representative Joe R. Milligan to Gov. George W. Bush, Texas Light Infantry,” June 24, 1991; FBI communication, San
January 10, 1996, February 7, 1996 Antonio to HQ, December 21, 1990; FBI communication, San
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, re: TLI and CMA Antonio to HQ, December 4, 1990
investigations, May 2, 1991; FBI letterhead memorandum, FBI letterhead memorandum, “Texas Reserve Militia aka
December 21, 1990, op. cit. First Texas Light Infantry,” December 10, 1992; FBI Lab
Interview with Dave Hollaway Request, November 14, 1990; FBI Lab Results, January 10,
Interview with a former TLI member, March 2012 1991
36 48
The Badger, June 1987; interview with Dave Hollaway; FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, January 17, 1991
various TLI records American Pistol and Rifle Association convention videotape,
Interview with Dave Hollaway September 30 to October 2, 1992; FBI letterhead
Andrea Weigl, “Klan lawyer says Southern heritage often memorandum, December 20, 1991, op. cit.
misunderstood,” The Greenville News, April 2, 1999; Paul FBI letterhead memorandum, December 10, 1992, op. cit.
Nowell, “Local NAACP branch seeking help from controversial Interview with a former TLI member; interview with Dave
lawyer,” Associated Press, December 23, 1998; Louis Sahagun Hollaway; interview with Kirk Lyons, March 2012
and Richard A. Serrano, “FBI Found Rightists Key To Ending FBI FD-302, interview with a confidential source, December
Montana Standoff,” Los Angeles Times, June 15, 1996 10, 1991; FBI FD-302, interview with a confidential source,
Interview with Byron Sage, April 2012; FBI letterhead December 30, 1991
memorandum, December 21, 1990, op. cit. FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, November
Kevin Flynn and Gary Gerhardt, The Silent Brotherhood 21, 1991
(Signet, New York, 1990); ADL Backgrounder, “The Order and Ibid.; FBI FD-302, December 30, 1991 op. cit.
the Phineas Priesthood,” FBI letterhead memorandum, December 10, 1992, op. cit.
56 Ibid.
41 57
United Press International, “Supremacist group sought Interview with Byron Sage, former FBI agent who worked on
money from Syria, witness says,” March 11, 1988 PATCON, April 2012; interview with a former FBI undercover
Chicago Tribune, “White Supremacists Convicted in Killing agent who worked with Reed (but not as part of PATCON),
2 Found Not Guilty in Denver Case,” November 19, 1987; April 2012
“Former leader of Order gets 60-year sentence,” Associated Interview with Byron Sage, former FBI agent who worked
Press, June 6, 1986 on PATCON, April 2012; interview with a former FBI

new america foundation – page 26

undercover agent who worked with Reed (but not as part of FBI letterhead memorandum, “Texas Light Infantry,”
PATCON), April 2012; interviews with a former FBI agent December 21, 1990; FBI letterhead memorandum, “Texas
working in domestic terrorism, 2011-2012; PATCON FOIA Light Infantry,” June 24, 1991; FBI letterhead memorandum,
documents “Texas Light Infantry,” December 20, 1991; et al.
59 78
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, December 21, FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, June 24, 1992
1990; FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, August 5, FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, August 5, 1992
1992; interview with Byron Sage, April 2012 FBI FD-302, debriefing of undercover agent, July 16, 1992
60 81
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, June 16, 1992. FBI electronic communication, Birmingham to HQ, April 1,
The name Dave Rossi was withheld from documents but 1992
confirmed by several sources. The name leaked online in 2012 FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, April 1, 1992
(see FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, March 18, 1992
exclusive-hiding-mass-murder-behind.html). Interview with John Grady, March 2012; FBI letterhead
Interview with Byron Sage, April 2012; interview with a memorandum, “Order of St. John,” July 14, 1992; Mary Jo
former TLI member, March 2012 Tierney, “Scutari Fooled Friends, Investigators Say Neo-Nazi
FBI letterhead memorandum, “PATCON,” January 2, 1992 'Enforcer' Called Good Citizen,” The Miami Herald, May 11,
R. M. Schneiderman, “My Life as a White Supremacist: An 1986; Anti-Defamation League, Extremism in America:
FBI mole speaks for the first time about life in the seedy world Richard Scutari,
of right-wing terror,” The Daily Beast/Newsweek, November
21, 2011 scutari
64 85
Ibid. Interview with John Grady, March 2012
65 86
Interview with Byron Sage, April 2012; FBI communication, FBI FD-302, interview with a confidential source, November
San Antonio to HQ, June 19, 1991 21, 1991; FBI letterhead memorandum, December 20, 1991, op.
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, December 26, cit.
1991 FBI letterhead memorandum, “Order of St. John,”
FBI communication, HQ to San Antonio, December 18, 1991 December 21, 1992
68 88
Interview with Byron Sage, April 2012 FBI letterhead memorandum, “Order of St. John,” July 1,
FBI communication, HQ to San Antonio, December 18, 1991 1992
70 89
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, August 5, 1992 FBI letterhead memorandum, December 21, 1992, op. cit.
71 90
Interview with Byron Sage, April 2012; interview with Bart FBI FD-302, debriefing of undercover agent, September 25,
Johnson, April 2012; Bill Morlin, “Furrow a Respected Aryan 1992
Guard; Former FBI Infiltrator Details Life at Compound,” The Interview with John Grady
Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), August 13, 1999 FBI FD-302, September 25, 1992, op. cit.
72 93
Schneiderman, “My Life as a White Supremacist,” op. cit. Ibid.
73 94
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, June 16, 1992 Ibid.
74 95
Ibid. Department of Justice Report on Internal Review Regarding
FBI communication, San Antonio to HQ, August 5, 1992 the Ruby Ridge Hostage Situation and Shootings by Law
Interview with former FBI agent Byron Sage, April 2012; Enforcement Personnel,
interview with former FBI agent Bart Johnson, April 2012;
interviews with a former FBI agent covering domestic html; “False Patriots: Profiles of 40 antigovernment leaders,
terrorism, 2011-2012 Randy Weaver,” SPLC Intelligence Report, Summer 2001,

new america foundation – page 27

Issue Number: 102, FBI communication, undated, re: night-vision goggles theft;
informed/intelligence-report/browse-all- FBI communication, Knoxville to HQ, September 18, 1992
issues/2001/summer/false-patriots?page=0,10 FBI communication, Knoxville to HQ, October 1, 1992; FBI
Ibid. communication, HQ to Knoxville, September 9, 1992; FBI
“Gritz's Comrade Gets Credit for Helping End Siege in communication, HQ to multiple offices, September 23, 1992
Idaho,” Associated Press, January 31, 1993; FBI communication, undated, re: night-vision goggles theft
119 Fort Hood resident agency, Final Joint Report of
Kathleen Kreller, “Weaver Acquitted in Slaying of Marshal – Investigation, 1082-92-CID-034; FBI communication, undated,
Convicted on 2 Minor Counts; Co-Defendant Harris Goes re: night-vision goggles theft
Free,” Associated Press, July 8, 1993 FBI communication, undated, re: night-vision goggles theft
99 121
DOJ report on internal review regarding Ruby Ridge, 1994, Court-martial of Timothy Boley, op. cit.
122 FBI communication, undated, re: night-vision goggles theft
html FBI communication, Knoxville to HQ, January 4, 1993
100 124
FBI communication, HQ to San Antonio, April 7, 1993 Court-martial of Timothy Boley, op. cit.
101 125
Stephen Jones, Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Frontline, Waco Chronology via
Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy (Public Affairs, New
York, 2001), 54 l
102 126
FBI communication, HQ to Portland and Knoxville, FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, March 24,
September 3, 1992; FBI communication, Portland to HQ, 1993; trial transcript, U.S. v. Brad Eugene Brance, et. al,
September 9, 1992 January 28, 1994
103 127
FBI communication, September 3, 1992, op. cit. FBI communication, HQ to Chicago, December 26, 1991;
FBI communication, HQ to FBI Knoxville, San Antonio, et affidavit in support of search warrant, ATF Special Agent Davy
al., August 12, 1992 Aguilera, February 25, 1993; Report of the Department of the
FBI communication, HQ to FBI Knoxville, San Antonio, et Treasury on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
al., August 24, 1992 Investigation of Vernon Wayne Howell Also Known as David
FBI letterhead memorandum, “Order of St. John,” Koresh, September 1993
December 21, 1992 David Thibodeau and Leon Whiteson, A Place Called Waco:
American Pistol and Rifle Association convention videotape, A Survivor's Story (Perseus Book Group, New York, 1999)
September 30 to October 2, 1992 David McLemore, “U.S. agent in charge is veteran
APRA videotape, op. cit. investigator,” Dallas Morning News, March 5, 1993
109 130
FBI letterhead memorandum, December 21, 1992, op. cit. FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, March 24,
APRA videotape, op. cit. 1993
111 131 Mike Tharp, “A controversial agent is at the center of the
FBI FD-302, debriefing of undercover agent, September 25, Waco investigation,” U.S.News & World Report, November 8,
1992 1999
113 132
Interviews with former CMA members, 2012; interview with FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, March 3, 1993;
a former FBI agent, March 2012 FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, March 5, 1993; FBI
Ibid. communication, HQ to Birmingham, San Antonio, et. al,
Transcript of court-martial of Timothy Boley, March 23, 1993 March 5, 1993

new america foundation – page 28

133 155
Interview with Byron Sage, April 2012; interview with Jeff FBI communication, HQ to Knoxville, San Antonio, et al.,
Jamar, April 2012 July 15, 1993
134 156
Mark Potok, “Siege in Texas attracts a crew from the Tom Gordon, “Tom Posey Backs Blake's Bid For Heflin's
fringes,” USA Today, March 19, 1993 Senate Seat,” Birmingham News (Alabama), May 13, 1996
135 157
Interview with Kirk Lyons; Diane Jennings, John Yearwood, U.S. v. Thomas Vincent Posey, Case No. 5:09-cr-18-CLS-
“Diverse group rallies for Koresh's rights Most differ with him HGD, grand jury indictment, January 28, 2009; U.S. v.
but oppose U.S. actions,” Dallas Morning News, April 4, 1993 Thomas Vincent Posey, Case No. 5:09-cr-18-CLS-HGD,
J. Michael Kennedy, “Waco Standoff Continues Amid Legal November 12, 2009; Thomas Vincent Posey obituary,
Wrangling,” Los Angeles Times, March 12, 1993
Interview with Dave Hollaway n=thomas-vincent-posey-tommy&pid=152648217
138 158
Trial transcript, U.S. v. Terry Nichols, November 18, 1997 Michel and Herbeck, American Terrorist, op. cit., 121
139 159
Michel and Herbeck, American Terrorist, 118-121, op. cit.; FBI FD-302, record of interviews with Andreas Strassmeir, April 30, 1996, and May 1, 1996; U.S. v. Dennis Mahon, et al.,
h/ CR-09-712-PHX-DGC, transcript of radio interview with
Dozens of separate probes are linked from this page Dennis Mahon, filed June 29, 2010
160 Michel and Herbeck, American Terrorist, op. cit., 119-122,
FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, May 4, 1993 134-136
142 161
Ibid. Interview with former FBI agent Cecil Moses; interview with
Ibid. former CMA member Tony Gooch
144 162
FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, May 5, 1993; Trial transcript, U.S. v. Terry Nichols, November 18, 1997
Schneiderman, “My Life as a White Supremacist,” op. cit. Ibid.
145 164
FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, May 5, 1993 APRA videotape, op. cit.; FBI FD-302, interview with
FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, September 30, Kenneth Joseph Sumner (Knob Creek Gun Show), December
1993; FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source, April 11, 26, 1995; Nexis address search;
1993; FBI communication, Birmingham to HQ, May 5, 1993;
Schneiderman, “My Life as a White Supremacist” op. cit. Interview with Tony Gooch; FBI communication, undated,
Birmingham News (Alabama), “Millbrook Man Will Plead re night-vision goggles theft
Guilty in Army Goggle Theft,” December 28, 1993; Affidavit of Terry Nichols, February 9, 2007
Birmingham News, “News Briefs,” January 15, 1994 Ibid. Repeated efforts to reach Moore for comment were
Interview with Tony Gooch; interviews with sources with unsuccessful, and he did not respond to a voicemail message
knowledge of the prosecution requesting an interview.
149 168
Schneiderman, “My Life as a White Supremacist,” op. cit.; Nolan Clay, “Nichols claims FBI official directed bombing;
Interviews with former CMA members McVeigh cohort again claims robbery of a gun collector was
FBI communication, HQ to Knoxville, San Antonio, et al., simply staged,” The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), February
April 7, 1993 22, 2007
151 169
FBI communication, HQ to Knoxville, San Antonio, et al., FBI letterhead memorandum, from Danny Coulson to
April 7, 1993 Larry Potts, request for extension of investigation, “Order of St.
FBI letterhead memorandum, PATCON, April 19, 1993 John,” January 1, 1993
153 170
FBI communication, Knoxville to HQ, June 28, 1993 Interview with Terry Nichols, March 2012
Interview with John Grady, March 2012

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Summary of telephone activity on Daryl Bridges’s account,
Spotlight Prepaid Card, December 7, 1993 to April 17, 1995; p?p=1345706; et al.
trial transcript, U.S. v. Terry Nichols, December 10, 1997 FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source “Carol,”
Interview with Dave Hollaway; interview with Kirk Lyons April 21, 1995; trial transcript, U.S. v. James Viefhaus and
FBI FD-302, record of interviews with Andreas Strassmeir, Carol Howe, April 24, 1997; interview with Kirk Lyons, March
April 30, 1996, and May 1, 1996 2012
174 181
Interview with Dave Hollaway; FBI FD-302 record of Interview with Deborah Williams, attorney for Dennis
interview, David Hollaway, August 12, 1996 Mahon, March 2012; interview with Kirk Lyons, March 2012;
FBI FD-302, interview with confidential source “Carol,” “Jury finds white supremacist guilty in Arizona bombing,”
April 21, 1995; trial transcript, U.S. v. James Viefhaus and Associated Press, February 24, 2012; et al.
Carol Howe, April 24, 1997 Paul Harris, “The ex-FBI informant with a change of heart:
176 ‘There is no real hunt. It's fixed,’” The Guardian (UK), March
claimed-he-was.html 20, 2012
177 183
Press release, Office of the United States Attorney, District “Going undercover, Criminalizing Dissent,”
of Arizona, “Federal Jury Finds Dennis Mahon Guilty in; FOIA
Scottsdale Bombing Case,” February 24, 2012 documents at; Ward Churchill
U.S. v Omar Abdel Rahman, et al., S5 93 Cr. 181 (MBM); and Jim Vander Wall, The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents
U.S. v. Ramzi Yousef and Eyad Ismoil, S12 93 CR180 (KTD); from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United
U.S. v. Salameh, S593CR.180 (KTD); various interviews with States (South End Press Classics Series, Canada, 2001)
Patriot and Islamist radicals. See Council for American-Islamic Relations Michigan
“AG Eric Holder was responsible for 168 deaths in the 1995 video, “COINTELPRO Tactics Affecting the Muslim American
Oklahoma City bombing … and more,” Community,”; for
168-deaths-in-1995-oklahoma-city-bombing%E2%80%A6and- examples of Patriot reference, see
more/; “According to FOIA, Eric Holder provided Timothy which includes references
McVeigh with explosives,” to both PATCON and COINTELPRO; interview with Dave Hollaway.
pg1; “Eric Holder Tied to Oklahoma City Bombers,”

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